Strident sound and anxiety-provoking message for a not-so-extreme alert

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FR-ALERT message May 13, 2024

Small moment of stress for people located on the banks of the Seine in Paris last night around 8 p.m. Several thousand Parisians received an alert message on their smartphones accompanied by a powerful and shrill ringtone. The alert system deployed by the State since June 2022 is supposed to warn the population of a major danger, and the title of the message received yesterday was unequivocal: FR-ALERT: “Extreme alert 05/13/2024 08:06PM“.

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The Ministry of the Interior plans to use this system to warn of a serious event, from natural disasters (fires, storms, floods, etc.) to terrorist acts, including chemical accidents (gas leaks or nuclear incidents). ), health risks (epidemics) or even serious accidents on the road network.

Yesterday, however, it was a simple administrative recommendation that was sent to residents of the Seine, but also to people in the metro or traveling on the riverbanks. Thus, it is requested “residents, employees, traders, hotel or restaurant customers…” to connect to the site in order to submit a request for a QR code… Let's bet that this was a test of the alert system for the Police Prefecture. In any case, the discrepancy between the substance and the form of the message is surprising.

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